Philtower takes over cell cites of telecoms firm in Mindanao

Philippine Tribune
Philippine Tribune

DAVAO CITY – Philtower Consortium Inc. aims to ensure that Mindanao enjoys network speed and availability on par with the rest of the Philippines following the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Globe Telecoms Inc. for the full takeover of cell site operations on the island in a hotel in Lanang here on Friday, October 27.

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PHILTOWER Consortium and Globe Telecom have signed an agreement for the operation of cell sites in Mindanao. (Ivy Tejano)  

Philtower Consortium CEO and President Devid Gubiani announced that the  710 cell sites in Visayas and Mindanao that they have taken over from Globe Telecom are already fully operational. Of these, 362 are in Visayas and 348 are in Mindanao.

Gubiani said that their memorandum of understanding with Globe marks the end of the transition of the sites that Philtower started to acquire early this year from the telecoms company.

He added that this offers Philtower a chance to introduce innovative practices from their regional and operational skills, which includes likely development such as reducing energy costs, collective network reliability and availability, expedited problem-solving, and preemptive issue resolution.

“The enhanced operational efficiency levels result in more reliable and consistent Globe services at a reduced cost, which is why the 710 sites undergo this operational handover… So, that is the immediate effect on the Globe users of this activity,” Gubiani said.

Gubiani said Philtower is hoping to contribute to such development in Mindanao, particularly in the Davao region, as they plan for expansion in partnership with Globe Telecoms.

He added that they have reasonable innovative solutions allowing 4G and 5G to be accessible everywhere.

“Now we ensure there is no lag from that point of view. For Globe, 4G and 5G services are readily available for more customers. You will expect a better signal all the time, unlike before, it was just a good signal, but not all the time,” he said.

“This is part of our portfolio of 1,350 sites acquired from Globe earlier this year, of which 710 had been transferred, while the rest will be this early November. We are looking at the remaining four or five months as a way for us to bring up the number to a hundred percent,” Gubiani added.

In September 2022, Philtower and Globe signed a sale and lease-back deal to acquire 1,350 Globe sites with the first batch of 578 towers turned over in February. Philtower gaves itself about a year to execute the complete transition of the 1,350 sites.

Gubiani confirmed that Philtower allotted P14.8 million for every site they can transfer. He said the Globe is getting capital for these assets while Philtower is getting these assets and is billing Globe every month in return.

As for the maintenance of these sites, Gubiani said that they are deploying remote management systems on all sites, which he described as similar to a control system in which the system is attached to every single element of the tower, whether it is a genset, fuel tank, or batteries, etc.

“By better understanding what is happening, we applied a high level of analytics so that we can correlate things and prevent problems from happening by servicing maybe beforehand a genset or changing a battery, for instance,” Gubiani said.

Jeff Sison, Globe Telecom AVP for Program Delivery, said that Globe can now focus on restoring and bringing more services to their customers with Philtower looking after the sites as part of their expertise.

“We need more sites in Mindanao. Part of the Globe’s plan is to cover the entire Mindanao with better signal and network availability, and having the Philtower is a plus for us to continue providing better services to our customers,” Sison said.

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